Friday, September 5, 2008

Fundamentals? Don't they mean fundamentalists?

The Democrats in the US must be very, very thankful that presidential elections take place the same year as the Summer Olympics. Because a planet's attention span is focused on the World's Greatest Circus ™ (sorry, Barnum-Ringling) it's not easy to keep a message going especially when you are the challenging party.

The quirk in scheduling also allows the challengers to pick the week when they want their convention. Since the incumbent party goes last, it's often to the challengers' advantage to go early and keep the momentum going after a "bounce." In 2004, though, the five week gap gave this little group called the Swift Boaters a chance to pounce on John Kerry from which the Democrats never fully recovered.

This year, wisely, the Democrats chose the week right after the Olympics ended. Why? They knew the Republicans would have to schedule theirs the week after -- and the day after the RNC, the August employment numbers would come out. Bingo! The US unemployment rate is now 6.1%, up from 4.7% a year ago and the highest rate in five years. A net loss of 84,000 in one month alone. Even more staggering is retail cut 20,000 jobs despite the busy back-to-school season. Doesn't that say something's wrong?

The GOP is saying, the "fundamentals" are still there. More like the fundamentalists are still there, continuing to dictate an economic policy that even the penniless philosopher would disapprove of. Not that He would necessarily approve of the Dems either, but that's not the point.

Barely a mention of the economy this week, and a complete misrepresentation of the Obama-Biden platform, is all they could manage. Instead, it was all about flag and country, the GOP are the only true patriots, and other assorted yadda yadda yadda.

People care about their pocketbooks. And when times are bad, they vote with a vengeance. How that actually plays in the electoral college, who knows -- but Obama is assured of getting the popular vote at the very least.

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